Time is Money
Your MSP business can’t afford to waste time on leads that are inconsequential. Cold-calling is going to be much less effective if you just pick a name out of the phone directory. You’ve got to sell your services to those that are likely to actually purchase them. However, that’s not the only qualification you need to watch for. How much is it going to cost you to provide services for them? If it’s more expensive for you to provide them service than the profit they bring in, you’ll steadily lose growth. So, if they’re likely to buy IT services of one variety or another, one of your next questions is what level of service they’re looking to apply.
There are a number of other considerable factors, and once you’ve got a comprehensive set of qualifying characteristics, you want to primarily work with client leads which match them. Don’t neglect to provide for outliers, like startup companies or entrepreneurs, but you primarily want to market toward those that will help your MSP grow.
One tactic for MSPs that have established themselves to a degree is to consider which clients have traditionally been the most lucrative. This can act as a starting point as you seek new leads. Certainly, you want to have an “ideal” list of potentials, like school districts or healthcare clinics; but you can’t only focus on these, as competition will already be high, and the wrong approach among competing MSPs can disqualify you in the eyes of your ideal client. You’re likely going to end up focusing on a pool of leads which match your most statistically common service characteristics and a profit-per-client which actually provides you return on the investment of your services in their business.
Questions to Consider
One ideal characteristic your MSP business should keep an eye out for are leads that are actively seeking tech solutions. These will likely provide better fodder for profitable conversion over those who aren’t yet “on the market”, as it were. Some questions you should ask yourself when you’re considering whether a lead seeking IT is a fit for your MSP include:
- Do they have a need for what you can provide?
- How serious are they?
- What have they decided they’re willing to pay?
- Will you be able to fit them in among other clients?
- What’s your intuition telling you?
If you don’t provide server-building services, a client seeking them won’t match your MSP. But if this is something you offer, then you’ll likely have a lead worth pursuing. Still, some potential clients are just exploring their options but aren’t trying to secure anything. Avoid them, they’ll waste your time. Ask probing questions to determine if this is the case–like how soon they will need to apply service A or product B. You also want to determine their potential budget beforehand. If all those things match, you want to ensure you can accommodate them in terms of your schedule pertaining to existing clients. If all that works out and your intuition is good, then see if you can convert them!
An MSP business that pre-qualifies leads carefully, using a strategic approach similar to that outlined here, will maximize time spent pursuing leads, likely increasing profit.